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Re-used storylines – Are they enough to generate higher ratings?

Triple H & CM Punk RAWDon’t get me wrong, I am not against re-creating pro wrestling storylines if executed correctly and done the right way. TNA Wrestling attempted to re-create 1996 all over again at the 2010 Bound for Glory pay-per view held at the Ocean Center in Daytona Florida with Hogan and Bischoff turning heel.

So why did this angle fail? There could be many reasons. The most likely is that BFG was held in the same venue as Bash at the Beach in 1996 – and with Hogan and Bischoff in the mix, a lot of people expected this angle to happen. In addition Jeff Hardy never really made a good believable heel. The fans want to cheer him more than they want to boo him. He is better as a babyface.

Now WWE is doing their own re-created version of the 1998 Steve Austin-Vince McMahon feud, but this time with a different cast of characters. CM Punk is playing Steve Austin and WWE is making it look like it will either be Kevin Nash, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, or all three to be playing the role of Vince McMahon. I have heard some others in the wrestling media say it could be Vince McMahon who took Triple H’s phone and sent the text to Kevin Nash as revenge for being ‘relieved of his duties.’ My hope is that it is John Cena, but with amount of merchandise he sells, being the most popular WWE Make-A-Wish Foundation Superstar, well you get the idea – Cena being the one behind the text is the least likely.

What I like about the storyline with CM Punk is that WWE creative has seem to found their niche in keeping us wrestling fans guessing what CM Punk is going to say and do next, and now with Nash, Triple H and Stephanie in the mix, it is that much more suspenseful. What makes this even better is the angle is taking place on live television, so the chances of internet spoilers are a lot less to happen.

In what I think was a desperation to get higher ratings for Monday Night Raw, WWE made an effort to re-birth DX (D-Generation X), which really didn’t grab the attention of the younger fans. The original adult oriented DX was edgy, dirty, came at a time when WCW was growing stale, and never had been done before. I was never a fan of the original DX, however, a PG version of DX just didn’t feel or seem the same to those who are old enough to remember the original group under the TV-14 format.

If WWE and TNA are both going to go in the direction of recycled or re-used storylines and angles then they need to take a step back, re-think and re-look how to they can re-invent them better that will grab the attention of the fans who stopped watching wrestling in 2001 and gain the interest of new viewers. in a time when ratings are not what they used to be, when house show attendance is down, pay-per views buys are some of the lowest in history (especially with TNA), both companies need to look at what World Championship Wrestling did in 1996 – do more of the out of ordinary that will get people talking. The CM Punk angle is a step in that direction.

Jerome Wilen – Pro Wrestling Ringside (www.prowrestlingringside.blogspot.com)

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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